Community outreach key to Obama counterterror plan
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WASHINGTON -- Within hours of the Boston Marathon blasts, government officials and Muslims in Boston called each other to offer assistance.
These calls were the fruits of years of cultivating such relationships in an effort to ultimately prevent the very type of attack Boston experienced April 15.
But the calls following the explosions were not about the unfolding investigation.
Representatives from the departments of Justice and Homeland Security offered support to Muslim communities in case they suffered backlash or threats, even days before law enforcement connected the suspected bombers to a violent interpretation of Islam.
This type of outreach has been a cornerstone of the Obama administration's counterterrorism strategy. The goal is to prevent homegrown terrorist attacks by forming trusting relationships among law enforcement, government agencies and Muslim Americans.
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